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Why I Went Back To Gnome From KDE

I recently became a KDE user, that was the time when Gnome Shell was going through transition and extensions were missing and I was looking for something which I could use without much frustration. One of the things that I love the most about KDE is the polishes interface and total control over your desktop. You can customize almost every aspect of KDE. In addition, the familiar UI (simple and aimed at the traditional desktop) makes it easy to continue to work without having to learn new tricks.

A Windows user will feel at home with KDE. So, everything is great about KDE. However, I recently switched back to Gnome due to the bugs I waited too long to be fixed and I don’t think they are going to be fixed at all. I, unfortunately, can’t live with those bugs.

KDE’s Dolphin Can’t Mount DSLR Camera’s
I am casual photographer and I shoot a lot. When I connect my Nikon D7000 to my KDE system (Kubuntu 12.04) via USB I don’t see the two cards of the camera in Dolphin. Once in a while I might see a pop-up in th notification window which says a device is connected. This is not how a file manager should work. An average user wants to see the connected storage device in the file manager so that I can ‘copy’ content there.

I don’t know what protocol KDE’s Dolphin uses to mount such devices but that’s not working. At the same time if, by a miracle, Dolphin does succeed in mounting the camera, you don’t get write permission which means you can’t copy images or content to the SD Card. Why not sir?

I filed bug reports ages ago but nothing has been done. I use a PC to get things and this is one of the most basic requirements a file manager should do. It’s 2012 and we are still struggling with getting a simple device mounted?

Under any other system – Windows, Gnome, Unity or Mac OS when you connect a device like your camera is shows up in your file manager and you can do everything that can be done with a storage device. Then why KDE behaves in a weired manner?

Under Kubuntu GTK Apps Look Ugly
I use a mix of application. I use what works best for me. Under Kubuntu GTK apps are hard to work with. If you open Gedit and then try to copy some content, the highlighted content will be invisible. Somehow it doesn’t take the color scheme selected in settings. That is even more painful when you use TweetDeck under Chromium and posting things there is impossible as you won’t see the ‘copied’ or ‘pasted’ content.

Nautilus Affected By The Same Bug
So, I had to install Nautilus under Kubuntu so that I can mount by camera. But, the same bug will make my life miserable. Under Nautilus when I copy file or folder it doesn’t get highlighted. I can’t tell which files or folder are copied. So, while Dolphin can’t mount the camera, even if Nautilus does mount it I can’t copy images to my local folders.

Peoople often criticize KDE for being unstable, but I never lost any data due to any crash. Yes, I agree every time you close an app such as Amarok you might see a crash report or everytime you shutdown KDE there will be a crash report but it never affected my work. As I said before I love every aspect of KDE and I very much like the way KDE 4.9 is shaping up. I am looking forward to it, but given the problems that KDE has I don’t think I will be able to use KDE as my main DE again.

As I stated above this is not the way a user will expect a file manager to behave and it will only make it harder for a Windows user to migrate to GNU/Linux+KDE.

So, my request to KDE developers is to please fix the way Dolphin mounts cameras and such devices and also fix the way GTK apps work under this awesome DE. As I said I like every aspect of KDE and it actually assists me  in getting my job done.

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My question to KDE/Kubuntu developers is — will you help me go back to KDE?

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Swapnil Bhartiya

A free software fund-a-mental-ist and Charles Bukowski fan, Swapnil also writes fiction and tries to find cracks in the paper armours of proprietary companies. Swapnil has been covering Linux and Free Software/Open Source since 2005.

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